The BBC has received backlash for clearing its schedule to dedicate its programming to the late Prince Philip, so much so it has had to streamline the complaints process.

Despite Prince Philip suffering from declining health, many were surprised to hear of his passing. The news interrupted programming on television and radio. However, some are not happy with the coverage.

What happened?

On Friday morning, Prince Philip passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle. News broke about the ninety-nine-year-olds death as the Royal Family released a statement.

The family wrote:

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
In the event of a royal death, there is a procedure that the likes of the BBC follow.

How programming changed?

When the news was announced at noon, BBC One interrupted its showing of Bargain Hunt and cleared its schedule. The remainder of the day was dedicated to programming on Prince Philip.

The cleared television schedule meant favourites like The One Show, EastEnders and Have I Got News For You were cancelled. Many were concerned that this means that future programming will be cancelled as part of a mandatory 8 day mourning period for Prince Philip.

ITV took a similar stance and wiped its schedule from This Morning onward.

Other platforms also saw changes. Radio 4 took over the likes of Radio 1 and Radio 2 after the news broke. Furthermore, Radio 4 simulcasted dedicated programming across all BBC radio channels for the remainder of the day.

Why are people annoyed?

Some have been upset at the disruption to their usual programming. Others feel that the coverage is distasteful given the numbers of deaths to COVID-19 in the last year. Moreover, many disagree with the controversial figure being celebrated for such an extensive period of time.

What are the channels doing?

The BBC has streamlined its complaint process in an attempt to make the process of giving feedback easier.

The form states:

“We’re receiving complaints about too much TV coverage of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. ‘Please enter your email address below to register a complaint about this – we’ll then send you the BBC’s response as soon as it is available.”

Other channels have taken lesser measures when mourning the Prince.

Channel 4 justified a lesser tribute, head of news and current affairs Louisa Compton stated:

“Today on Channel 4 we broadcast a 30 minute news special shortly after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death was announced; an in-depth obituary at 4 pm and there’ll be an extended @Channel4News at 7. ”

“C4 also has a duty to offer an alternative to other channels hence a return to schedule.”

It seems that the death of Prince Philip will be felt for some time, particularly by keen television watchers.

What do you think of the coverage?